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Apicectomy

The Problem

An infection has occurred at the tip of the root or roots of a tooth, spreading into the surrounding bone that supports the tooth. Occasionally people may be unaware of the problem but usually there is discomfort, episodes of swelling, gumboils or bad taste.

Why do I need Treatment?

If left untreated the infection will spread possibly developing into an abscess or cyst, or damaging bone around adjacent teeth. The tooth may become loose. The infection cannot be cured with antibiotics, but they are often used to give temporary relief of symptoms.

What is the Treatment?

An apicectomy is a small surgical procedure designed to cure an infection at the tip of the root or roots of a tooth. It is indicated when, for a variety of reasons, it has proved impossible for your dentist to cure the infection by removing the dead nerve and placing a root filling. It is most frequently carried out under local anaesthetic (injection into the gum). A small cut is made in the gum, which is then lifted off the bone. Access through the bone to the root tip is made using a drill. The infection is cleaned out, part of the root tip removed and a small filling placed in the end of the root. The gum is replaced with dissolvable stitches.

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